Beautiful Cars

The remarkable car collection of H.S.H. Prince of Monaco is located on Terrasses de Fontvieille.The exhibition covers 5 000 m2 and includes a wide range of cars from the 1903 De Dion Bouton chassis Tonneau, 1921 Rolls-Royce Phantom I, 1928 Hispano Suiza H6B, 1947 Delahaye 135 MS and 1963 Facel Vega Facel II to 2019 Ferrari SF90 driven by Charles Leclerc who born in Monaco. 

The two family gems of the collection are the 1956 Chrysler Imperial in which Prince Rainier III welcomed Grace Kelly to his Principality and the 1959 sporty Renault Floride that belonged to Princess Grace.
“Prince Rainier III was a lover of beautiful cars, and he began to build up a fine collection,” said Valérie Closier, Director of the car collection and herself a keen rally driver. “He was passionate and wanted to exhibit them in a unique place in order to present them to visitors.”

For more information, please consult the website of the Cars Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco:


A Royal Automobile Club welcome!

The Club was founded in 1897 and is the second oldest automobile Club after the Automobile Club de France (ACF).  It has occupied its magnificent Clubhouse in Pall Mall, London since 1911 and visitors are always greeted with a splendid motor car in the rotunda.  The Club is hugely active and during a normal year The Club runs over 80 events including 25 alone during early November’s London Motor Week, with a huge attendance at the free Regent Street Motor Show. The latter showcases over a century of motoring from the pre-1905 London to Brighton veteran motor cars, through to past and present competition cars, classics and future-focused electric vehicles. 

In 2021, Cussons participated in the London to Brighton Veteran car run in the RAC 1901 Mors 10 H.P. 4 cylinder. With a body created by Parisian carrosserie, Henri Binder, it is both one of the more magnificent and technologically advanced cars of its era, featuring a 4 speed gearbox powered by a 4 cylinder engine. He shared the driving with the British scientist and Chair of the Science Museum, Baroness Archer of Weston-super-Mare DBE and on arrival they were welcomed with a hot toddy from courtesy of Aberfeldy single malt whisky after an untroubled journey in good weather. 

But it is not just motoring activities that keep Cussons busy, in the run up to the election of the new head of the FIA in December 2021, he held a hustings at the RAC to hear what the two presidential candidates would say. One was Mohammed Ben Sulayem and other Graham Stoker. Each were given 2-hour slot in which they could present their manifestos. The chair of Motorsport UK, David Richards CBE was also present, as were members of both boards

“It was an enlightening experience to see the process of election, “Cussons said,” which was also made available to our members. It gave an opportunity to probe deeply into manifestos and what they could bring to the table if they were elected.” Mohammed Ben Sulayem was later elected FIA President.


Tiffaney – Watch this space

When it comes to motorsport in Monaco, Tiffany Perlino is a high flyer. She has been a member of the Automobile Club Monaco since 2008 and competed nine times in the historic Monte Carlo Rally as co-driver and twice as driver in a beautiful bright yellow 1972 Lanica Fulvia HF 1600. She also holds two important positions in the motoring world.

“I have always loved anything on wheels and I was thrilled to be asked in 2019 to be President of the Women in Motorsport  Commission for the Automobile Club Monaco,” she said. “ The aim of the commission is to share our passion, knowledge and experience and encourage other women to participate in the exciting world of motorsport. Then I received another invitation to be the Monaco National Representative for Women in Motorsport Commission FIA  which is presided over by Michèle Mouton.”

Tiffany has lived in Monaco for over 30 years and was introduced by her husband, Silvio, into the world of rallying. She wants to show that motorsport is open to girls and women on many different levels, as a profession but also as a thrilling hobby. It’s not just a man’s world out there, there is room for women too.


A Car Lover’s Paradise

Milan is famous for fashion but who would have thought that it was the capital of motoring books. I made a amazing discovery of Nada bookshop which has some 10,000 titles on historic and classic cars as well motorcycles. A car lover’s paradise which was founded by Giorgio Nada and his wife Silvia. It is run by Sergio Nada, a well informed motoring enthusiast and his brother Stefano is the CEO of the Nada publishing house.

“Some 70% of the books in our shop are in English,” said Sergio. “The ones that I recommend are Italian Coachbuilders (Elvio Deganello), Formula 1 & Monza A Race In Pictures as the photos are incredible, The Lamborghini Miura Register book (Simon Kidson), Jaguar E-Type Six-Cylinder Originality Guide (T.F. Haddock,  M.C.Mueller), Ferrari 1000 GP Official book (Louis Camilleri and various authors) and the Pininfarina 90 years Official book with 632 models from 1930-2020.” 

He smiles and continued.”For me the F1 all the races: The first 1,000 (Roger Smith) is an magnum opus as it has crazy deep research. With regard to cars, the most beautiful ones are made by Touring Superleggera, a master Italian coachbuilder established in 1926. A good book is Touring Masterpieces Of Style written by Luciano Greggio. 

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00 – 13.00 15.00 – 19.00

The address is Libreria Dell’Automoile, Corso Venezia, 45, 20121 Milano,  

Tel +39 02 7600 6624



Mail order department:
Libreria dell’Automobile / International Motoring Bookstore
Via Claudio Treves 15/17 – 20055 Vimodrone (Milano) – Italy
Tel. ++39 (0)2 27 30 14 62 / 68


Fashion and Fast Cars

Louis Vuitton, pioneer in the art of travel, has partnered with BMW  to create a tailor-made set of luggage crafted in carbon fibre for the newly launched BMW i8. But the iconic luxury brand has a long history with travel as in the 19th century its trunks were personalised for clients. Later, they were revolutionised through the introduction of its secure system of luggage locks which is still used today.

Louis Vuitton shop, Gstaad.

Now through its store manager, Valentina Ranadipura, there’s also link to Formula 1. She was born in Monza, the home of the Italian Grand Prix and as a baby she got accustomed to the roar of the engines. It was magic experience sitting with the family throughout her youth and cheering on the Ferrari team.

“Later, as an adult I got hooked on the event and would arrive three days before for the race preparation,”said Valentina, a charming, friendly and bright woman.”There, I would meet all the team and I got to know what it was like to sit in a F1 racer.”

She studied marketing and languages in Milan Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Her appreciation of art and architecture was stimulated while in Milan, particularly by the impressive Gothic cathedral. From the pink-hued white marble to the famous Madonnina, the gold-coloured statue of Mary that stands on the cathedral’s highest spire, it was a great inspiration. 

“What I enjoyed most was seeing the cathedral in different light,”she said,”On sunny days, it’s the lightest place in the world. Then on grey days, its dark and threatening. But most of all I like the materials selected. The use of glass enhances the feeling of space.”

While Valentina was studying, she worked part-time at Louis Vuitton. It was exhilarating experience because the staff were truly international and she fitted in immediately. She herself is cosmopolitan with a Swiss Mother and an Indonesian father. She has worked her way up in the company from sales assistant in 2006 through store trainer, field coach trainer in Milan and Vienna and finally after 14 years she was promoted to store manager in Gstaad.

In the ultra-chic resort of Gstaad with its cosmopolitan residents and visitors, Louis Vuitton provides the perfect ambiance for high-end luxury fashion. And there’s no better person suited to welcome’ the international clients than Valentina and her team.

Cars People

Dubonnet the beautiful Automobile

Most people will associate the name Dubonnet with the aperitif but few know it’s a beautiful classic automobile.

André Dubonnet was the scion of the Dubonnet drinks family as well as a flying ace and racing driver who competed for Bugatti and Hispano-Suiza. In 1921, he won the Boillot Cup at Boulogne in a Hispano-Suiza H6 and in the autumn after he had bored its engine out to 6.9 litres, he took that year’s Autumn Cup at Monza. 

He commissioned several unique cars to be built such as the 1924 Hispano-Suiza H6, with a power of 145kW, but requested a maximum body weight of 45kg. Nieuport-Astra complied with a body made of strips of tulipwood, held together by thousands of aluminum rivets. ( Exhibit Blackhawk Museum, Danville, California).

Another automobile was the 1938 Hispano-Suiza H6B Dubonnet Xenia.

Photos Courtesy Kahn Media

The one-off car was built on the chassis of the Hispano-Suiza H6B. However it uses the larger, more powerful engine from the H6C and an entirely new dynamic body design by the luxury coachbuilder Jacques Saoutchik.

Eight decades later the Dubonnet Xenia, now owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, earned Best of Show honours at the 25th annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance in 2018. “He was brilliant engineer,” said Peter Mullin who was interviewed about the car at Jay Leno’s garage. He related how Dubonnet worked on an independent suspension system which was way ahead of its time. Another feature was the curved front window right out airplane technology.

In December 1922, Dubonnet married Claude Sampieri, daughter of  Count Charles Sampieri and of Irène Cahen d’Anvers who was painted by Renoir as a girl. His second wife, Xenia Howard-Johnston who died four years after their marriage was commemorated by naming the 1938 Hispano-Suiza after her.

News People

‘British Ferrari’

The Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll is the Chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings and part-owner of Aston Martin FI Team. He made most of his money through investments in luxury brands such as Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger.

“My intention is to build a business that will have the strongest profile of any luxury automotive brand,” he said in an interview with BBC TV (2.3.2021) “Ferarri has a great Business model. Aston Martin has a 108 year old iconic heritage and there are many similarities with Ferrari. F1, for a luxury automotive company, is the greatest platform in the world for many initiatives. 80% of the people who watch F1, about 100 million, are luxury performance car buyers. So we will be taking the technology from our F1 cars and put those into our road cars.”

Lawrence Stroll is a collector of vintage Ferraris including a 275GTB/4 Spyder which he bought for $27.5 million. He owns the Canadian race car circuit Circuit Mont-Tremblant and has a Ferrari dealership in Quebec. His son Lance is a racing driver and is part of the F1 Aston Martin Team.

Cars News

Aston Martin supporting 2022 Gstaad Concours d’Elegance with newest models

Another manufacturer of elegant and iconic cars has announced their participation in the Concours d’elegance event to be held in Gstaad in August 2022. Aston Martin, the well-known James Bond brand also famous for both its classic road cars and motor sport prowess, will be exhibiting their latest models in the beautiful alpine setting.

Cars News

Ferarri to show cars at Gstaad Concours d’Elegance

Ferrari have announced their intention to attend the event. This follows their recent successful test drive day in Gstaad where they showcased the new Ferrari Roma and the Portofino

Cars People

A Love Letter to a Ferrari

extracted from Gstaad Insider’s Book 2nd edition 2021 copyrighted material © Farrol Kahn

A love letter to a car? You must be kidding but Beat Imwinkelried did just that. His 250 GT Lusso Ferrari is the sleekest, suavest of all Ferraris with those wide-rimmed, deeply dished, wire-spoke Borranis adding raciness to the smooth, unadorned curves. A beautiful work of art and the car of his soul. 

“When I was young man, I was unemotional about cars,”said Beat, an entrepeneur and one of the major figures in the Swiss motor industry. ”Then in 2015, I caught the Ferrari virus. Driving a high-tech sports car is an awesome experience because you can change gears at lighting speeds. This is due to integration of the F1 into super sports cars like Ferrari. One of the nicest trips I did was to introduce the car to my son Jan. We made a tour from Basel to Gstaad and over the Swiss Alps back to Basel. One of these father-son trips is something the Italians call emozioni famiglia. We left Basel early in the morning and this would be my first long distance drive in the 250 GT Lusso. The weather was marvellous and the engine sounded magnificent with the windows down. We left the highway in Thun and drove through the Simmental. The sounds of the V12 engine echoed off those trees. Despite its elegance, the Lusso seemed like a wild animal that had slipped its leash.This Lusso begs to be used because that is what keeps old Ferraris – indeed, all old cars – fit and healthy. “

Beat Imwinkelried is the king of classic and super sports cars in Switzerland. His domain stretches form Basel to Zurich and Gstaad. It includes B.I. Collection AG – an exclusive Ferrari dealership in Zurich and Pichler AG in Gstaad, an institution for storage for classic and super sports cars with 275 spaces as well as their maintenance and restoration. In addition, he is president of the board of 10 companies with fleet of 17,000 vehicles on leasing in Basel.

The headquarters of B.I. Collection at Urdorf, Zurich consists of three floors. At the top are the models for sale where the price is ascertained by advertised positions on Autoscout24, but also by the number of kilometres. At the mezzanine level is the fabulous exhibition of Ferraris from different eras. There is also a surprise in store. Three models are not in the traditional red but in a bright yellow – “Enzo”, “LaFerrari” and “F50!

“The lounge on the second floor is the meeting place for car lovers,”said Beat, an affable and stylish man.”It has leather armchairs and sofas so that like-minded people can exchange ideas, talk shop or even configure cars for hours together according to their own wishes, while the delivery service brings pizza. It’s a place where they can go from Ferrari fan to Ferrari owner.”

Beat’s father Josef grew up in a village of Ulrichen, Canton Valais and gained his matura at the gymnasium Spirito Sanctus in Brig. Beat grew up near Basel and studied mechanical engineering at the renowned research university ETH in Zurich. This was followed by an MBA at IMD (1996). His first job was at ABB Power Generation where he was Vice President of Sales (1997-2000). This was followed by several other positions including chairman of AIL Structured Finance AG (2002 to present).

“When I reflect on my  30-year career in the motor industry career, the proudest moment was when I bought Pichler,”he said.”Erich and Othmar have established a treasure house of classic and sports cars in Europe and I’m pleased to say that both are still working with my operating team in Feutersoey.”

When buying a Ferrari one should bear in mind Beat’s advice. “The car design and exterior colour need to be attractive as you want your new partner to be. You need to like the general appearance which is similar to going on a first date. When you start the engine with high expectations, this would be like the first time you have sex. Either it is exciting and you want more or it leaves you lukewarm and you try another car.  In the case of  250 GT Lusso, it was love at first sight.*